Environmental values & local decision making

This research examines the role of women in the readiness phase of REDD+

Erika
Drazen
Kroon 321
12:50pm
This research examines the role of women in the readiness phase of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) in Sri Lanka. It examines how knowledge and values are translated at different scales. In the wake of the 21st COP in Paris, the importance of forests in mitigating climate change has been restated. Central to conserving forests is REDD+, 'an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development' (UN REDD Programme). The United Nations REDD Programme is working in 64 developing countries to assist them in establishing the proper infrastructure within their government institutions to be able to execute forestry saving programs and receive funding for it. This study traces how knowledge and decisions made at international conferences move across scales to be implemented at the national level. It examines tensions between scales, particularly when it comes to women's involvement in the REDD+ readiness phase in Sri Lanka. It will examine the literature of women and environment, as well as portray the current standing of women's involvement in forestry in Sri Lanka.

We examine the potential for farmers in Southeast Asia to adapt to climate

Brian
Reed
Kroon 321
12:50pm
We examine the potential for farmers in Southeast Asia to adapt to climate change. We use the results of a United Nations Development Program survey of farmers in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh to model how farmers are currently making decisions regarding which crops to plant, when to plant and harvest, and which inputs to use. We take a cross-sectional approach, using the decisions of farmers dispersed across a range of climatic zones in order to measure the relationships between farmers' decisions and historical temperature and precipitation patterns. We then use these relationships to examine how farmers' decisions may change under forecasted climates. We find that while farmers may shift towards growing more rice, they are not likely to alter the quantities of fertilizer, pesticide, or seed that they use. Farmers may be able to minimize their losses due to climate change if they are able to grow in additional seasons and to more intensively irrigate their plots.

The increasing instances of environmental destruction

Sarah
Sax
Kroon 321
12:50pm
The increasing instances of environmental destruction and unequal distribution of environmental burdens in the Amazon and globally raise pertinent questions about the complexity interwoven into the relationship between state, neoliberal development, natural resources, and people. Through exploring a specific case study of an environmental conflict between a foreign oil palm plantation and an indigenous village in the Peruvian Amazon, I draw attention to the historic inequality, violence, and embeddedness of neoliberal conceptions of nature and property that contributed to this case. This case resulted in heavy deforestation of the 6,874ha of the land acquired, the majority of which falls within the ancestral territory of the Shipibo and has yet to be recognized as such. Using semi-structured interviews, oral histories, participant observation, and document analysis collected during the summer of 2016, I argue that rather than the dominant narrative of primary rainforest destruction and new commodity frontiers, the landscape is layered with long histories of violence that is perpetuated by dominant scientific and economic conceptions of nature and property. This violence extends to non-human worlds, including deforestation and conversion of rich ecologies to monocrops. Conservation is caught up in this violence by entrenching dualistic nature-human relationships. Furthermore the statist concept of 'productive landscape' developed already in 15 century and deeply embedded into Peruvian governance and legal and economic definitions of forests, perpetuate this violence in the specific context of the conflict explored. I tie this research into current environmental injustices happening domestically and argue for the importance of studying such conflicts as a way to direct us to new and productive questions about how to relocate scientific research on economically, politically, and socially progressive agendas.

This study examines the effect of climate change on the agricultural

Vanessa
Vytlacil
Kroon 321
12:50pm
This study examines the effect of climate change on the agricultural land-use in the US and predicts future adaptations of agricultural land-use under alternative climate change scenarios. In particular, I estimate a nonlinear panel data model for fractional outcomes on county-level data in the US, with the fraction of land in a county dedicated to agriculture as the outcome variable of interest. The econometric model incorporates various determinants of land-use decisions, including climate variables such as temperature, hydrology, and growing seasons, as well as other characteristics of the land that may affect land-use decisions such as soil quality and population density. The econometric model robustly controls for time-invariant unobserved factors through the use of county-level fixed effects. I combine my estimates of the relationship between climate and agricultural land-use with projected scenarios from three alternative climate models to make predictions of climate adaptation patterns of agricultural land-use in the US.